February 6, 2022

february 6, 2022 A roundup of local and international news.

Pandemic. The Romanian government has extended the state of alert for a further 30 days from Monday. First declared in 2020 after two months of state of emergency following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, the state of alert provides, among others, for the obligatory wearing of face masks both indoors and outdoors. Cinemas, theatres and restaurants can open at 50% capacity in localities with an incidence rate below 3 per 1,000 inhabitants and at 30% where the incidence rate exceeds this level. Under a new emergency order, the deadline for filling in the digital form on entering the country has been extended from 24 to 72 hours. The authorities said the time when the state of alert is lifted is nearing, but that a decision in this sense will only be taken after careful consideration. More than 16,000 new cases were reported today, as well as 82 related fatalities, including 7 from an earlier date. Since the start of the pandemic, Romania reported 2.3 million Covid cases and over 60,000 related fatalities. With only 8 million people fully vaccinated, the country has the second lowest vaccination rate in the 27 EU member states, with only Bulgaria doing worse.

Politics. Parliament will be debating on Monday a no-confidence motion against the energy minister, the Liberal Virgil Popescu, introduced by the Save Romania Union, in opposition. The motion, signed by 51 MPs, accuses Popescu of being a threat to the country's energy security, asking for his dismissal. The Save Romania Union also denounces what it describes as the disastrous way in which the government has managed the energy bills issue, saying people have ended paying huge sums, with both citizens and the economy suffering as a result of the decisions made by the authorities. The motion will be put to the vote on Wednesday. Also next week, the Senate's specialist committees will begin debating a government order on caps and compensations for electricity and natural gas bills. The main parties in the ruling coalition, the National Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, disagree, however, on how long the new support scheme should be applied for. The Social Democrats want it to also apply retroactively, while the Liberals say this may be unconstitutional.

Olympics. Romanian athletes are in action today at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Valentin Creţu is racing in the third heat of the luge men's singles competition, while Daniel Cacina and Andrei Feldorean are taking part in the ski jumping men's normal hill individual final. Paul Pepene finished 28th in men's 15km + 15km skiathlon. Romania has 21 athletes at the Games, in luge, bobsleigh, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon and speed skating. Following the diplomatic boycott of the United States and other Western states over China's human rights abuses, the Chinese foreign minister accused the US administration of violating the principle of the political neutrality of sports and of basing its actions on lies and false information and on ideology and political prejudice. The US denounced China's treatment of its Uyghur population, a Turkic-speaking Sunni Muslim community in western China, and raised concerns over China's policies in the Buddhist Tibet, which was annexed in 1950, and in Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to Chinese control in 1997.

Handball. The Romanian women's handball champions CSM Bucharest are today playing the Croatian side Podravka Vegeta Koprivnica in a Champions League Group A match. With only two points, the Croatian side are in the last place in the 8-team group, while CSM, who have 12 points, are in fifth place, which on paper means they have secured their qualification to the round of last 16.  Also today, CS Minaur Baia Mare are playing the French side Les Neptunes de Nantes in Group B of the women's EHF European League. Another Romanian side in this completion, SCM Râmnicu Vâlcea on Saturday pulled off their third consecutive win in Group D, defeating another French side, Chambray Touraine Handball 32-27. (CM)

Publicat: 2022-02-06 13:45:00
Vizualizari: 435